Lake Mead Intake Hydraulic Tunnel

Lake Mead #3 Intake

Project Name: Lake Mead Intake Hydraulic Tunnel

Contractor: Vegas Tunnel Partners

  • Work Summary:

This was a unique project due to the extraordinary pressures at the tunnel boring machine head.  Pressure was anticipated to reach 14.5 bar and all equipment was to be constructed with a design working pressure of 17 bar.  The extreme pressures – the highest in the world to date, required a type of support that is becoming more popular.  Saturation was brought into play.  This was one of the first projects in the world that was prepared fully for saturation operations.

Compressed air workers, saturation divers, man lock tenders, medics and other specialized labor and consultants were on call via the Ballard team.  Ballard consultant provided a job specific hyperbaric manual to assist with state variances and performed the saturation system commissioning and integration of the TBM system.  A mobile control van was fabricated by Ballard to allow for the distribution and monitoring of breathing gasses, video feeds, pressure readings, gas analysis, and more.

  • Project Notables:
    • Utilization of a Ballard owned saturation control station
    • Working pressures of 14.5 bar
    • Multiple state variances.
    • Evaluation, setup and integration of saturation equipment